Practical Ways To Implement Prayer With Pastor Dave Bruskas
By Sutton Turner
As we consider our churches reopening, there’s an exciting opportunity to practically restructure our services to include more prayer. I spoke with Pastor Dave Bruskas of The Village Church on simple, applicable ways to rethink prayer as we prepare to regather.
We turn again to 1 Timothy for biblical inspiration on prayer. While many of Paul and Timothy’s circumstances were different than what we’re facing, the elements of church presented in the Bible is still a solid ground for thinking about how we can structure our ministries to reflect those values.
1 Timothy 2: 1 – 7
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
Applying The Scripture
Pray For Leaders – Paul’s first instruction is to pray for leaders, which is an incredibly pertinent topic right now as we have national, state, and local authorities determining when it’s safe to regather and our health precautions for when we do. As these unprecedented and challenging decisions are being made, it’s crucial for us to be praying that they are guided by God’s wisdom.
Pray For International And Global Authorities – Paul commanded Timothy to pray for kings, plural, meaning even those whose authority you’re not directly under. We live in an interconnected world where our decisions, especially those in power, influence far beyond our local reach. We’ve seen this first-hand with the impacts of COVID-19. Praying for global leaders reminds us of our call to live peacefully, which pleases God.
Live Peaceful Lives – Living a quiet peaceful life provides the conditions for God to come in and do what he does best. We should aim to achieve this peace in our hearts as we pray for those around us to attain that peace as well.
Prayer’s Pivotal Role In Church
Prayer should play a pivotal role when we gather. This can and will look different for different sizes and denominations, but there are a number of opportunities to introduce prayer in stronger ways during this time. Some ideas include:
Silent Prayer – While many churches have musical and guided worship, there’s nothing like coming to God in silent prayer, ready to listen. Times of silence can occur as a whole congregation or in groups to close out in group prayer after times of silence. Provide these moments for your congregation even starting now by creating a time of day when your members will individually pray. This provides a sense of structure and opportunity for those who have a hard time creating their own space for prayer.
Prayer At Every Event – It’s critical that prayer comes first before every ministry we pursue. Take time to have a group pray before your services for your worship team, your volunteers, and your pastor. Carry this practice into your small groups, classes, and any other gatherings you participate in. This helps realign your heart to God before every step you take.
Prayer For Strangers – We have a unique chance right now where people are more open to prayer and love from others. Take advantage of this season to ask anyone you speak to, even if they’re unbelievers if you can pray for them. You can even pursue these opportunities through text and email, responding to their prayer requests with a short written prayer to show them extra love. God is in this crisis and creating opportunities through open hearts that we can step into.
Prayer Through Technology – Many churches are taking the opportunity to gather daily on Facetime or Zoom to pray. You can even stream these prayer times on your social media pages, send them out in a daily email, or post them on your website to encourage others who might need daily prayer. We’d be missing an opportunity to not start this practice now while people have an appetite for connection. This will likely be a successful practice even once we are able to regather.
Pray For Your Enemies – If you’re praying for authorities around the globe, chances are there are some who’s policies and values you’ll disagree with. Soften your heart during this time to grasp in a new way scripture and pray even for those who persecute you.
Prayer is the foundation of our communication with God and has the ability to transform lives. As we inch closer to the end of complete social distancing, think about how you can implement prayer into every facet of your church.
Sutton Turner is the chief operating officer of Vanderbloemen, which serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally.